Marc Cashman is BACK! And he’s answering more of your questions. If you have any specific VO questions and wish to be advised by the ever knowledgeable Mr Cashman, you can email him at cashcomm@earthlink.net!

Q: I’m an actor, basketball announcer and emcee, and have been on air for seven years. I take voice and speech classes regularly so I have great experience using my voice. Now for my question: I have a very good voice over demo, but the right people haven’t heard it yet. What are the steps I need to go about in order to properly and professionally send out my demo for possibly representation by a voice over agency, or even to score gigs? 

– Bruce L, Chicago IL.

A:  Bruce, thanks for your inquiry.  Submissions to VO agents need to have a succinct cover letter and great packaging in order to be competitive.  Any packaging/self-promotional angle you can use to get attention, the better. One submission I got had two dollars attached to it, and read: “I know your time is valuable, so I’d like to give you $2 to listen to me for two minutes.”  That got my attention!  Just make sure the contents are commensurate with the packaging, i.e., that your demo is competitive. If you want to hear examples of competitive demos, go to my website and listen to dozens of VO demos I’ve produced.  After you send out your demo, follow up within 2-3 weeks of submission.  Get the Voice-Over Resource Guide for an up-to-date listing of all agencies and personnel.  Good luck!

 

Q: I recently moved to LA and I’m looking to get into voice acting here. I was on air briefly, then went to college for acting, and am currently enrolled in a great scene study class. Also, I have done voice over work for about two dozen local commercials in South Carolina and I have a demo together – I am just not sure what my next step should be! Do I try to get an agent now, or is there a method of submitting myself for work to build up credits here? Voice work is not as common as on-camera work is…thanks for the advice!

– Sherry G, Los Angeles CA 

A:  Sherry, if you have a demo together, by all means submit it to VO agencies.   But make sure it’s competitive, content-wise and packaging-wise. [See above]  If you have a particularly strong Southern accent, I’d advise you to work with an accent-reduction coach.  Your regional accent will come in handy for parts that specifically call for that ability, but you’ll need a generic accent to be viable for most other roles.  Good luck!

Q:  I’m getting ready, at long last, to make a VO Demo, but I’m confused as to how long my demo should be.  Some people say no longer than 1:30, others say one minute!  What do you say? 

—Steve P., San Francisco CA

A:   Steve, I’d make your demo run 1:30-1:40.  It gives you a chance to show off your acting abilities and versatility a bit more.  If or when you land an agent, he or she will most likely want a 60-second version of your demo to post on VoiceBank.  Ask them what elements of your demo they’d like best, and what order they think would be strongest for your one-minute demo. That way, your new agent will feel that they’ve got some direct input into your product, and you’ll know that they actually took a few minutes out of their day to really listen carefully to your demo. Good luck, and break a lip!

I’ll be sharing more voiceover questions and keep answering questions regularly on the Benztown VO blog – please write to me at cashcomm@earthlink.net.

Cashman Commercials © 2012

MARC CASHMAN is one of the few professionals in the U.S. working on both sides of the glass—as an award-winning producer who creates copy and music advertising for Radio and TV, and as an award-winning voice actor. He also instructs voice acting of all levels through his classes, “The ‘Cashman Cache’ of Voice-Acting Techniques” in Los Angeles, CA and is one of the most in-demand voiceover coaches worldwide.  He can be contacted at cashcomm@earthlink.net or his website, www.cashmancommercials.com.